Rivals.com - Looking at Bobby Bowden's five-star signees
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Looking at Bobby Bowden's five-star signees

Myron Rolle
Myron Rolle (Getty Images)

One of the best college football coaches ever, former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden died Sunday at the age of 91. Bowden’s only losing season with the Seminoles was his first and in 34 seasons, he went 315-98.

During the Rivals era from 2002 through the 2009 recruiting class, we take a look at the five-stars that Bowden signed at Florida State:

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Platt had tons of offers but narrowed his choices to Florida State and USF and ended up picking the Seminoles. He was ranked as the second-best receiver in the 2002 class behind Miami’s Ryan Moore. But Platt was not admitted academically to FSU and went to USF and then landed on the junior college route.

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Ranked as the seventh-best junior college prospect in the 2002 class and the second-best receiver behind Durrell Robinson, Stovall caught 72 passes for 1,120 yards and eight touchdowns in two seasons with the Seminoles. He was picked up as an undrafted free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles.


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Watkins signed with Florida State over Georgia, USC and Miami and played in 49 straight games in his college career with 10 interceptions. The five-star safety from Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln was a fifth-round selection and played for the Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers from 2006-10 and then in the CFL for a handful more years.


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Davis picked Florida State over Florida, USF, USC, Boston College and others shortly before National Signing Day. The five-star athlete played receiver for the Seminoles where he finished his career with 1,842 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. A fourth-round pick, Davis bounced around the NFL and other leagues and his career ended with the Columbus Lions.

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Notre Dame was considered the front-runner and there was a rumor that he had already told the Irish staff that he was coming but Booker picked Florida State over Notre Dame, USC, Washington and others. In four college seasons, Booker totaled 2,389 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. He was a third-round selection by the Miami Dolphins but finished his pro career with more receiving than rushing yards and scored no touchdowns.

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Even though Washington said he was a Florida fan, he picked Florida State over South Carolina. Despite being rated as a cornerback coming out of high school, the five-star moved to running back in Tallahassee. In four years, Washington rushed for more than 2,000 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was a fourth-round pick of the 2006 NFL Draft and was a two-time Pro Bowl selection. Washington finished his NFL career with 2,271 rushing yards and 16 rushing TDs and has the most kickoff returns for touchdowns (eight) in NFL history.

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The No. 1 prospect in the 2003 class, Sims committed to Florida State over Georgia and Auburn as many thought the Bulldogs would steal him away late in the recruiting process. After playing three seasons in Tallahassee, Sims was the ninth overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Playing nine seasons with multiple NFL teams, Sims finished his pro career with 623 tackles.

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The top-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the 2004 class, Lee picked Florida State over Ohio State, Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, Texas and others. In three seasons for the Seminoles, Lee threw for 2,323 yards with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He went undrafted in the 2008 NFL Draft and then floated around some semi-pro leagues where he also played tight end and wide receiver.

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Ranked as the second-best receiver in the 2005 class behind only USC’s Patrick Turner and one spot ahead of Cal’s Desean Jackson, Rouse picked Florida State over Alabama, Florida, Miami, Texas and many others. He played just one season for the Seminoles before transferring to UTEP and then Concordia College in Selma, Ala. He went undrafted and then played a few years in the CFL.

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Miami was considered the major front-runner for Smith but an official visit to Florida State changed the course of Smith’s recruitment with Auburn, Florida and others involved. The five-star was behind other outstanding running backs early on with the Seminoles but he finished his college career with 2,255 yards and 26 touchdowns in four years. He went undrafted in the 2009 NFL Draft, bounced around a little bit and ended up with the Atlanta Falcons for about five seasons.

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Although he was a five-star in the 2005 class and picked Florida State, Bright never played for the Seminoles and attended Hargrave Military Academy before going the junior college route. He bounced around schools and ended up at Shaw University in North Carolina, had some more off-field complications and entered the 2010 NFL Draft where he went undrafted. Bright played in some semi-pro leagues which ended in a stint with the Wichita Wild.

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The top-ranked athlete in the 2006 class, Rolle picked Florida State over Oklahoma, Florida, Penn State, Miami and Michigan. Rolle totaled 206 tackles and one interception in three seasons at FSU before being picked in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He left the NFL after a few seasons to attend medical school and he’s now a neurosurgery resident at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.


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The top-ranked player in the state of Tennessee and the second-best weak-side defensive end behind Clemson’s Ricky Sapp, Warren committed to Florida State over Tennessee, Miami and others in the summer before his senior season. The Vols never gave up and tried to flip him late in the recruiting process as then-coach Phillip Fulmer put on the full-court press as Warren lived just miles from Knoxville. But he stuck with FSU and played tight end there before transferring to Tennessee anyway but then he was dismissed from the team. He ended up at North Alabama.

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Ranked as the third-best junior college prospect in the 2008 class behind Oregon State’s Simi Kuli and Florida’s Carl Moore, White picked Florida State over Miami, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia and others. A seventh-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, White bounced around the NFL for a couple seasons and then played in the CFL for another couple years before his career ended.

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In the fall before his senior season, Bradham committed to Florida State over Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss and many others. The five-star linebacker finished with 305 tackles and nine sacks in his FSU career. He was a fourth-round NFL Draft pick and in an eight-year NFL career, Bradham totaled 403 tackles, 8.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.

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A long-time Florida commit, Reid backed off that pledge and then narrowed his choices to Georgia, Florida State and Alabama as signing day got closer. Miami was also being considered. He picked the Seminoles but ended up being dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules and transferred to Valdosta State. He has bounced around different arena and pro football leagues and now plays for the Montreal Alouettes.

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It was always McDaniel’s dream to play at Florida State and to play for position coach Odell Haggins and the five-star defensive tackle made that a reality in early February when he committed to the Seminoles nearly a year before National Signing Day. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers and considered playing professional baseball but chose to play at FSU. He went undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft and signed with the Cleveland Browns but did not have much of a pro football career.

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